Stranded in a Foreign Land

Copyright© 2014 by Vincent Berg

The television display was normal, broadcasting an innocuous program few cared about, but millions were sitting in rapt attention. Warnings had gone out for the past couple days, alerting people that the 'aliens would finally speak' as part of the ongoing YouTube video releases. The public was hungry to learn more about what was actually going on, and this was their one chance to finally decide for themselves. The government, despite the widespread rioting in the streets, continued to refuse to comment, terrified of making a terrible situation worse.

People across not just America but the entire world turned on their TVs, ignoring the channel or content, waiting for the promised program to start. This was a real grass roots effort, as anyone could tune in. Anyone with a radio or TV could participate, regardless of any restrictions imposed by either their governments or the commercial broadcasters. The Washington elite, the New York City or West Coast intellectuals, had to have their kids set their high-def TVs to receive the free broadcast signal. No one was more frustrated than President Atkinson and his staff. For all the sophisticated jamming technology, regulatory and broadcast restrictions, they had no way to prevent the transmission, and there was no way to manipulate it for their own purposes until after everyone had already seen the original.

However, those who were used to watching for free were more familiar with the technology, and many were ready to record whatever was broadcast and post it immediately to the Internet as soon as it completed. By the time the various heads of state figured out how to manipulate the images, the deal would be done. Everyone across the world would already know what had been said. Even if a country shut down the broadcast studios in their country, people could still receive the broadcast just by leaving their TVs turned on. The more repressive countries considered blocking the signal, but they couldn't block the entire spectrum and they assumed the broadcast would hurt the US, not them.

Everyone watching across the globe leaned forward at the same time as the screen flickered, flashes of black and white appearing along the ribbons intersecting the image, and then the entire screen changed. There, on the screen, was a well-built muscular youth looking at his massive audience confidently and proudly. The background was unusual in that it didn't look like anything the viewers had seen before. It wasn't really 'futuristic', just unexpected. The common tools, utensils and conventions were all wrong. The worldwide audience held their collective breath as he began speaking.

"Good evening. You've probably all heard my voice by now, so I'm finally revealing my face. For now, let's call me Adam, for want of a better name.

"I've been selected to speak for my friends because I assisted them, learned their language and helped them not only recover but prepare to return, so they trust me to speak for them. Everything I say is what they themselves believe, though due to language difficulties they're unable to speak in a manner you'd understand.

"As you all know by now, I've been helping a group of aliens who were shipwrecked here, helpless and incapacitated by illness. I and a few of my friends," here he spread his arm, indicating others, and the camera panned out revealing four other individuals, three of which bore the short hair and watchful cautious behavior of military personnel, "set out to help these individuals. However, our government leaders, instead of taking the opportunity to assist the very people who could give them access to advanced technology thousands of years beyond ours, chose instead to hunt them down, dissecting them and trying to capture the plague that was killing them so they could inflict it on their enemies. But they had no clue what they were doing and almost unleashed the same plague on the entire human race. It was only because we stepped in that the death toll was as restricted as it was.

"As our more recent video showed, the world's most advanced military is unable to compete against this more advanced technology as we ran circles around their best fighters, making them about as efficient as a child's paper airplane. We never fired a single shot in the entire episode, although we had to continually save the pilots from their own actions, as their weapons were only designed to combat Earth based technology.

"These people meant us no harm. They never once attacked or tried to injure anyone. Yet the President of the United States callously ignored the laws of his country and made a mockery of Congress who did nothing to stop him. He created secret camps where they threated to remove my arm rather than waiting to discover how the technology they were attempting to steal operated, caused the death of their entire base, and then attempted to deny they had any responsibility for those very men. When one man finally stood up to them and exposed what they'd done, they eliminated him. Frankly, I wouldn't trust the president to piss straight.

"Of course, I don't have any evidence of this, since anyone revealing this information can be legally imprisoned for the rest of their lives without access to independent lawyers, judges or even a summary trial.

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